Freeman Week: a celebration of management

Charlotte Casey, Contributing Writer

The Freeman College of Management held Freeman Week in Holmes Hall from Monday April 4 to Friday April 8.  Throughout the week, students had the opportunity to express interest in – and enthusiasm about – management education at the University, connecting with a variety of exceptional alumni and professors. 

The several events were organized by the Freeman College of Management Center for Experiential learning, including Assistant Dean for Experiential Learning Missy Gutkowski and Administrative Assistant for the Freeman College of Management Amy Bennett, along with the Freeman Student Advisory Board – who act as a representative body for management students and work to enhance the community within the College of Management.  

The week began with an Ice Cream Social on the front patio of Holmes Hall on Monday April 4, which was open to all students, faculty and staff.  

On Tuesday, April 5 the Freeman Student Advisory Board hosted a Student Experience Panel in which junior and senior members of the board shared some of their experiences at the University. Topics covered included declaring majors, campus involvement, the process of searching for and deciding on internships and more.  

Following this event was the BisonReady Incentive Luncheon and the Beta Gamma Sigma & Omega Rho Ceremony, both of which took place on Wednesday, April 6 to honor outstanding, driven University students.  The BisonReady Luncheon recognized students who have been highly engaged on the BisonReady platform, an application designed to help students in keeping with their academic and personal objectives.  That evening, Freeman students in the top 10 percent of their class were inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma, the business honors society.

On Thursday April 7 a Senior Celebration & Walling Lecture Dinner was held. The Senior Celebration “was an amazing event to recognize the hard work and accomplishments of our graduating class,” Tori Kline ’23 said, a member of the Freeman Student Advisory Board.  She described how the structure of this event “allowed students, alumni, and professors to connect and get to know each other outside of a classroom setting.”

This dinner also featured an “insightful lecture by Alyson Welch about having a growth mindset,” Kate Normandin ’23, one of the Co-Chairs of the Freeman Student Advisory Board, said.  Alyson Welch ’96 is the Vice President of Twilio’s Enterprise General Business.  Twilio, as Normandin explained, is “a software company that also sponsors a case competition for Freeman Week. The winners of the case competition were announced on Friday morning at the networking breakfast.”

On the concluding day of Freeman Week, Holmes Hall was flooded with students, faculty and alumni participating in the Business Trends Summit.  The Business Trends Summit began with a networking breakfast, during which students had the chance to engage in conversations with the alumni attendees.  It was also at this event that Twilio Case Challenge winners were awarded.  These students were recognized for producing and presenting a solution to a community problem of their choosing.  

Following the breakfast, students were able to attend presentations put on by a number of impressive University alumni to learn more about various industries.  The attendance of University students, as well as faculty, at these presentations was very high.

This year, the format of Freeman Week differed greatly from that of years past. Gutkowski, one of the organizers of Freeman Week, elaborated on the benefit of holding the events in person, and how as we have all come back together, increasing face to face interactions has aided in continuing to build and develop the Freeman community. She also spoke with excitement of Holmes Hall filled with engaged students and faculty – not only from the College of Management, but the Colleges of Arts & Sciences and Engineering as well. 

Those who participated were pleased to have had the opportunity to experience Freeman Week in person, after having been held virtually in 2021 – and in Holmes Hall, the new on-campus home of the College of Management. A member of the Freeman Student Advisory Board, Paris Abbot ’24, said that, “[e]very day of Freeman Week provided me with a new way to connect with past alumni as well as other successful individuals, face to face.”

“It was so inspiring to hear from professionals who were in my shoes not too long ago and are doing exactly what I aspire to be doing after college.” 

Overall, many University students were enthusiastic about all the aspects of Freeman Week and enjoyed partaking in the events in person. Students across all areas of study were incredibly involved and took advantage of the opportunities offered over the course of the five days. Considering the high rate of participation and positive feedback, there is no doubt Freeman Week was a success for the Freeman College of Management and the University community as a whole.

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